For Immediate Release - August 22, 2011

Massachusetts Tomato Contest Draws 106 Entries

Farmers from Idylwide, Stillman's, Verrill and Ward's Berry Farms take top honors at 27th annual event

Photos from the event

BOSTON - Monday, August 22, 2011 - Tomato farmers from across the state converged on City Hall Plaza today to display the fruits of their labors at the Commonwealth's 27 th Annual Tomato Contest. A highlight of the kickoff celebration for Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week, this year's festival drew 106 entries.

Top prizes went to Idylwide Farm of Acton, Stillman's Farm of New Braintree, Verrill Farm of Concord, and Ward's Berry Farm of Sharon. A full list of contest winners is attached. Entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, cookbook authors, produce experts and state officials.

"Local tomatoes and other produce are in abundant supply right now at farmers' markets and roadside stands across the state and I encourage all Commonwealth residents and visitors to stop by a nearby market and discover great, farm-fresh food," said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Scott J. Soares, who kick off today's event by reading the Patrick-Murray Administration's proclamation, declaring August 21-27 as Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week.

In addition to the presentation of awards, today's Tomato Festival included tomato tasting, recipe demonstrations and information on nutrition and local farms. The festival and contest are sponsored by DAR, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers' Markets.

Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners, 2011

SLICING CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

12

Idylwilde Farm

Acton

Black Velvet

1

15

Verrill Farm

Concord

Dafel

2

17

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Scarlet Red

3

1

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Geranimo

4

28

Freitas Farm

Middleboro

Super Steak

5

27

Freitas Farm

Middleboro

Trust

6

2

Red Fire Farm

Granby

BHN-589

7

16

MacArthur

Holliston

Trust

8

18

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Big Beef

9

6

Cape Abilities Farm

Hyannis

Trust2

10

 

CHERRY CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

17

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Sun Gold

1

18

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Mini Charm

2

28

Freitas Farm

Middleboro

Sun Gold

3

1

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Matt's Wild

4

3

Macone Farm

Concord

Sun Gold

5

21

Wilson Farm

Lexington

Matt's Wild

6

6

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Sun Sugar

7

9

Marini Farm

Ipswich

Sun Gold

8

11

Grant's Plant

Essex

Sun Cherry

9

15

Verrill Farm

Concord

Sun Gold

10

 

HEIRLOOM CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

32

Stillman's Farm

New Braintree

Striped German

1

2

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Brandywine

2

15

Verrill Farm

Concord

Moskovitch

3

4

Macone Farm

Concord

Pondarosa Pink

4

6

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Wapsipinicon Peach

5

17

Verrill Farm

Concord

Rose

6

3

Macone Farm

Concord

Macone Heirloom

7

25

Wilson Farm

Lexington

Harris Beefsteak

8

5

Macone Farm

Concord

Mr. Stripey

9

19

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Paul Robeson

10

 

HEAVIEST

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Weight

Place

10

Verrill Farm

Concord

Aussie

3.210

1

13

Volante Farm

Needham

Orange Persimmon

3.010

2

12

Taft Farms

Gt Barrington

Mortgae Lifter

2.730

3

3

Red Fire

Granby

Brandywine

2.505

4

4

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Aussie

2.430

5

1

Macone Farm

Concord

Mr. Stripey

2.415

6

9

Rota Spring Farm

Sterling

Primo

2.080

7

5

Farmer Daves

Dracut

Brandywine

2.025

8

8

Charlie's Red House Farm

Winchendon

Striped German

2.015

9

11

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Striped German

1.865

10

 

DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of local agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Development, Animal Health, Crop and Pest Services, and Technical Assistance - the DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the Commonwealth's agricultural community, working to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR's website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at http://twitter.com/#!/MDARCommish